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Environment, Security and Global Affairs

The Emergence of Environmental Security in the Early 1970s

Abstract

At the onset of the 1970s, European and US-American politics, sciences and societies perceived imminent environmental threats as relevant to security. Early concepts and ideas regarding the interdependence of environment and security flourished and traversed the Atlantic, transforming into national, transatlantic and global cultures of environmental security. The environment and security developed a common social, political, national, international and transnational history. This observation is anything but trivial. Rather, it highlights the way both merged at the genesis of modern global environmental policy between 1969 and 1975. This paper analyses the emergence of environmental security as one political road map to environmental policy in Europe and the United States as well as in NATO’s “Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society” (North Atlantic Treaty Organization/NATO CCMS), the European Communities and the United Nations. A new research matrix is tested here and three contemporary types of environmental security cultures are being identified and historicized, all of which became powerful national and international political and scientific mindsets before waning at the middle of the decade in the wake of the energy crisis.

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Correspondence to Thorsten Schulz-Walden.

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English editing by Stephen Walsh.

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Schulz-Walden, T. Environment, Security and Global Affairs. Eur J Secur Res 3, 51–69 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41125-017-0024-6

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Keywords

  • Environmental security
  • International security
  • Environmental history
  • International history
  • International cooperation
  • Security culture
  • Global environmental policy
  • USA
  • United Nations
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society
  • European Communities